Always passionate about the sciences, Susan Fung earned her Ph.D. in Neurobiology from the University of Washington before even thinking about the existence of data science bootcamps. In a recent (and excellent) blog post, she wrote:
"My day to day involved designing experiments and making sure I had ingredients for recipes I needed to make for my experiments to work and scheduling time on shared equipment...I knew for the most part what statistical tests would be appropriate for analyzing those results (when the experiment worked). I was getting my hands dirty doing experiments at the bench (aka wet lab), but the fanciest tools I used for analysis were Excel and proprietary software called GraphPad Prism."
Now a Sr. Data Analyst at Liberty Mutual Insurance in Seattle, the questions become: How did she get there? What caused the shift in professional desire? What obstacles did she face on her journey from academia to data science? How did the bootcamp help her along the way? She explains it all in her post, which you can read in full here.
"Every person that makes this transition has a unique story to tell thanks to that individual's unique set of skills and experiences and the particular course of action taken," she wrote. "I can say this because I listened to a lot of data scientists tell their stories over coffee (or wine). Many that I spoke with also came from academia, but not all, and they would say they were lucky...but I think it boils down to being open to possibilities and talking with (and learning from) others."
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Considering her career path and where she is now, it’s remarkable to think that Tiffany Moeller has never taken a college-level math course. Read how she went from earning a degree in counseling to finding her way into data science and engineering, all the while finding motivation from the idea of using data for social good.
Bootcamp graduate Jeff Kao knows that we’re living in a time of heightened media distrust – and that’s precisely why he relishes his job in the media. “It's heartening to work at an organization that cares so much about producing excellent work,” he said of the nonprofit news organization ProPublica, where he works as a Computational Journalist. Read Kao's full story here.
Bootcamp graduate Nathan Maton was a curious child, casually asking unsuspecting science teachers big questions like “what is time?” on the way to field trips. That curiosity led to what he considers his strongest skill: the ability to ask good questions - and he’s not surprised it eventually led to a career in data science. Read his story.